Willingden


It could be a peaceful little village from the pages of a Tolkien novel, except that it only exists in my head, when I’m asleep and dreaming.

WillingdenI often find myself there at some point during my sleep cycle. The houses are tall with cobbled facades, and outside each is parked a vintage car. Before I even see the old mill, I know that I’ve stepped back in time. It’s quiet apart from birdsong and the occasional grocer’s van.

According to a sign, Cheltenham (my hometown) is north-west of Willingden. I keep this in mind while I investigate the old fashioned shops and have a go at sewing my own clothes. There’s a tea shop, a disused railway tunnel and fields to walk through. There’s a cinema/theatre painted green, and an old fashioned high street.

There is also the Church Green, where the signs pointing at Cheltenham merge into village names that you’ve not heard of. You follow the signs and find yourself looking at an active forge, a forest, or a country path – even an entire new village. You never do get back to Cheltenham and eventually you realise that you don’t want to. Willingden is small and peaceful – somewhat like Hobbiton but with larger houses.

I have no idea where the name comes from in my mind – it’s just always been there. Perhaps I’m dreaming of the perfect environment and making it so real in my head that I can actually live in it for a while. No noisy dogs, no pollution… just peace and beauty.

Welcome to a slice of my dream world.

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About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Seamstress, cross-stitcher, sci-fi lover, ukulele player and Chelmsford's own Pickling Pagan who wants to inherit a TARDIS when she grows up. In the process of writing an as yet unnamed book, with anecdotes and information about being epileptic and autistic - and seeing the funny side! Also an entertainment journalist for What Culture, where I write about Doctor Who.
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One Response to Willingden

  1. y_ddraenog_goch_2 says:

    I wish I had dreams like that! What a beautiful picture you paint!

    I can imagine walking by the mill stream, watching the ducks on the millpond, and the other birds in the trees and fields, having a cuppa and a slice of cake in the tea shop, then watching a Great Western pannier tank engine with two coaches stop briefly at the little station at the edge of the village, then steam gently and unhurriedly away into the tunnel (it wouldn’t be disused in my version :-) ) Then, I’s stroll on through a wildflower meadow, with the bees buzzing around and the scent of the flowers in my nose, and pick somewhere to lie down and watch Nature doing her thing…

    I could build my version using the high street shops and some of the old stone houses in Chipping Campden, the tiny preserved picture house in a back street in Southwold, the tea shop at the bottom of my road, the mill at Stotfold, the little station at Hampton Loade, the wildflower meadow through which I walked one beautiful warm June morning several years ago to Horsted Keynes Station, the Pig’s Nose pub at East Prawle, and lots of other beautiful places I’ve enjoyed visiting over the years. I don’t think I’d ever want to leave it either!

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